Monday, February 20, 2012

Witchfinder v2: Lost and Gone Forever TPB

Mike Mignola and John Arcudi can pretty much do no wrong for me, but factor in one of my favorite sub-genres of the weird west, and we have a winner.

I barely remember the previous trade, I guess Sir Edward Grey just didn’t make much of an impression on me after I read that one. But I think this book will stick with me for a bit longer. Heading off into the American West in search of a missing Englishman, Grey gets caught up in some witchery, Native American mysticism, and zombies. It’s just as varied as it sounds, full of nice characterization and action

As always, the horror moments are rare but powerful, my favorite being the appearance of the rock hell-hound and the whole mine sequence. (I mean really, shouldn’t occult investigators know better than to go underground when there are zombies about?)

It was neat seeing Grey’s origin, although we only see it pretty quickly. I love Grey’s interaction and deductive skills, the entire book is filled with him making educated guesses and leaps of logic that totally make sense and add to the narrative. (My favorite being that Grey takes note of how quickly his buddy Morgan Kaler deals with their first zombie. Kaler stays pretty calm too, mighty suspicious!) Kaler is a great addition to the BPRD universe, a buckskin-wearing man of action who would fit right in working with Hellboy.

There are some really fascinating uses of magic on people of faith (or lack of). I loved seeing how Grey’s beliefs handled the many tests from the witchcraft in this story. But it’s all about the horror and action, and this book delivers.

John Severin is a classic Western artist, and it shows. Every detail looks fantastic, and the horror designs are perfect. The Buffalo God who appears so briefly has a huge impact on the story, and I loved the white witch and her strange pull on the Native American’s she’s stealing power from. I'm glad he got to go out with such a wonderful book.

Time and again I’m impressed by Mignola’s corner of comics. I shouldn’t be surprised at that quality any more, but I’m happy that I am.


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